Fayval Williams not worried about another global rerecession
Despite all indications that the world may be headed for another global recession, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Fayval Williams has said it is too soon to worry about such a prospect.
"Yes, we acknowledge that in the major economies, growth is slow, China growth is slowing, the United States is holding on, India is there doing its part in terms of global growth, and we are going to be looking for the opportunities wherever they exist across the globe, but I think it is too early to be worried about a global recession," she said in an interview with The Gleaner.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January cut the global growth forecast for the next two years by 0.2 per cent, noting that recovery efforts may be derailed.
Commenting on the impact that global conditions could have on the growth plans of the new Government, Williams focused on developments in China, noting that the actions taken by the Chinese to manage the slowdown in growth are a positive sign.
While worries about China's hard landing continue to mount, Williams has her eyes on emerging markets in South America as a ready avenue for Jamaican exports.
"On the export side, exports need to be ramped up ... there are other parts of the world that we need to look to, like South America. There are many economies there that we can sell our goods and services to as well," she added.
As she plans to grow Jamaica's export, Williams has also signalled that she will be exploring the expansion of capital markets as an avenue to bring interest rates down even further.
"Based on where inflation is right now, there is room still, we believe, for interest rates to go lower. There is a need to expand our capital markets so that there are more options for businesses, for individuals, for our pension funds in terms of investments, and those factors will help to determine the level of interest rate that we experience in this country."
In respect of Jamaica adopting a policy of quantitative easing, Williams explained that "quantitative easing is simply using monetary policies to support the economic environment so that growth does not go negative ... Our central bank here is very creative; they have been managing in a difficult environment ... I have no doubt they are looking at a lot of data and variables to ensure that whatever they do is to the benefit of the underlying economy".